Autoimmune Trivia – clothing choices for health

I have a new ugly sunhat and it gets just as many funny looks as the last ugly sunhat – sometimes there is no winning solution if you are unhealthy except to do what you have to do to stay healthy. I thought the new hat was slightly less odd as it’s a straw hat, summery, but oh well. I need a broad brim for sun protection. Cute hats don’t always have a brim or a large floppy beach hat has too much brim and can obstruct your ability to see.

Due to a tendency to develop severe rashes or eczema I need natural fibers. Modern fabrics can leave me itching and as my autoimmune disease has worsened I’ve even had problems with rashes that lead to a lack of skin – an open sore over a large patch is painful more than itchy. Fashion may be fun but not as much fun as having skin. Sewing my own clothes allows my own fabric choices. Hunting through resale shops for natural fiber clothing can be another way to find items that don’t make me sick. Organically grown cotton products are available in limited styles and limited places for a price that is generally more than a department store price but probably less than an expensive fashionable brand.

Laundry detergents or fabric softeners can also leave me with an allergic reaction. Having overactive white blood cells means the allergic and autoimmune sensitivities are more likely to occur – there is one bonus, cancer cells may be more likely to be identified and removed. Until it is a severe condition someone with autoimmune disease may be less likely to have cancer due to the overactive white blood cells. Increased inflammation in a patient and those with “dermatomyositis,” type of infllammatory autoimmune disease were more associated with cancer risk than some other types of arthritis like autoimmune diseases, “systemic autoimmune rheumatic diseases (SARDs), in a large study.” [3] Someone with autoimmune disease can be at greater risk of developing another type of autoimmune disease however. [1]

Adequate treatment of hypothyroidism might have an additional benefit of reducing risk of demyelination and development of Multiple sclerosis. [1]

“For example, an intriguing finding based on a rodent model of chronic demyelination indicates that administration of thyroid hormone can enhance remyelination under certain conditions (3132). Relevance of this finding to multiple sclerosis in humans is unknown, but, hypothetically, routine treatment of hypothyroidism could diminish the risk of multiple sclerosis.” [1]

The sunhat is helping reduce inflammatory reactions that can make underlying autoimmune symptoms worse. Oxidative stress is another way to say inflammatory reactions and a variety of things in addition to excessive sun exposure can lead to oxidative stress and increased production of free radicals – a type of reactive chemical which antioxidant foods helps to detoxify safely rather than allowing an increase in negative health symptoms. Pollution and smoking can also be external factors in addition to excess sun exposure which can be a cause of inflammatory oxidative stress. [2]

Eating adequate but not necessarily excessive amounts of antioxidant rich foods can help the body detoxify the free radical chemicals safely. Excessive supplements or very rich food sources of antioxidants can tip the chemical balance too far in the other direction. Studies with supplements of vitamin E and vitamin A found that some is good but more isn’t. Sesame seeds are a good source of a variety of nutrients and have been tested for helping with the oxidative stress caused by athletic exercise, two tablespoons per day were found to be a helpful and safe amount. See: Effects of Sesame (Sesamum indicum L.) Supplementation on Creatine Kinase, Lactate Dehydrogenase, Oxidative Stress Markers, and Aerobic Capacity in Semi-Professional Soccer Players. [4(G3.8)]

More information antioxidant rich foods and on oxidative stress and who is more at risk of having inflammatory oxidative stress reactions is available in this post on my other blog site: https://effectiveselfcare.info/2017/09/08/three-negative-stress-can-trigger-the-fight-flight-response-whos-at-risk/

  • Disclaimer: Opinions are my own and the information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes.
  1. Emily C. Somers Sara L. Thomas Liam Smeeth Andrew J. Hall, 

    Are Individuals With an Autoimmune Disease at Higher Risk of a Second Autoimmune Disorder?, American Journal of Epidemiology, Volume 169, Issue 6, 15 March 2009, Pages 749–755https://academic.oup.com/aje/article/169/6/749/90353

  2. Anu Rahal,  Amit Kumar,  Vivek Singh,  Brijesh Yadav,  Ruchi Tiwari,  Sandip Chakraborty,  and Kuldeep Dhama, Oxidative Stress, Prooxidants, and Antioxidants: The Interplay, Biomed Res Int. 2014; 2014: 761264. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3920909/
  3. Kuang-Hui Yu, MD, Chang-Fu Kuo, MD, PhD, Lu Hsiang Huang, MSc, Wen-Kuan Huang, MD, and Lai-Chu See, PhD, Cancer Risk in Patients With Inflammatory Systemic Autoimmune Rheumatic Diseases, Medicine (Baltimore). 2016 May; 95(18): e3540 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4863778/

  4. 8. Barbosa CV, Silva AS, de Oliveira CV, et al., Effects of Sesame (Sesamum indicum L.) Supplementation on Creatine Kinase, Lactate Dehydrogenase, Oxidative Stress Markers, and Aerobic Capacity in Semi-Professional Soccer Players. Front Physiol. 2017 Mar 31;8:196.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28408889  (G.8)

Magnesium deficiency and cancer – and magnesium sulfate salt

Magnesium Deficiency and Cancer, Sara Castiglioni, Jeanette AM Maier (2011):

In addition, magnesium concentration in drinking water is inversely correlated with death from breast, prostate, and ovarian cancers, whereas no correlation existed for other tumors [36, 38, 39].”

Looking at the bigger picture can lead to a better understanding of the real underlying issues and we are overlooking or being deceived about the underlying causes of cancer:

Experimental evidence therefore leads to the conclusion that in rodents, magnesium deficiency participates both in early (initiation) and late (progression) phases of tumorigenesis (figure 2).”

Full text: http://www.jle.com/fr/revues/mrh/e-docs/magnesium_and_cancer_a_dangerous_liason_290268/article.phtml?tab=texte

*this article also mentions that low magnesium levels slow down growth of the main cancer tumor but that it is associated with increased spread of the cancer to other areas of the body. There is some speculation that low magnesium could be used to slow growth of cancer tumors but I would point out that the simple answer is math – cancer is very rapidly growing and any rate limiting factor such as reduced levels of essential nutrients such as magnesium or folate would reduce growth of rapidly growing cell groups but also would affect the health of the immune system and rest of the body. Cancer cells are ravenous, they have no off switch and it is the magnesium which provides the body’s ability to kill by apoptosis cells that are defective or too old. The article goes into more detail about oxidative stress, inflammation and mentions factors involved with apoptosis that are dependent on adequate magnesium. Some types of cancer treatments increase the risk of low magnesium and treating with extra magnesium sources has been studied elsewhere. Problems with fingertips occurs in a variety of health situations that involve starvation of some important nutrient including Raynaud’s disease – mentioned here, in an article about the cancer treatment associated with low magnesium: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/1097-0142(19851215)56:12%3C2765::AID-CNCR2820561208%3E3.0.CO;2-2/full

The most well known example of fingertip problems due to lack of essential nutrients is frostbite – warmth is the missing nutrient – is that a nutrient? not really but without warmth nothing else works. I’ve written about a few other type of vasculitis problems that begin with finger symptoms. I’ve included some of that post at the end of this, to be organized later on the effectivecare.info site.

In the case of cold water drowning the body has self preservation techniques that may sacrifice the fingers and toes while saving circulation throughout the heart, brain and lungs – the three most important organs for survival. Drowning victims in very cold water sometimes survive much longer exposure than would be possible in warm water because of this survival tactic that may be based somewhere in our evolutionary past. Life guards are trained on the importance of not giving up on the search for cold water victims. (cold water survival) My first job was as life guard, water safety instructor and camp counselor.

The cancer treatment with magnesium may need a source that can be absorbed through the skin. Many factors can reduce the body’s ability to absorb magnesium as well through the intestines.

Humans intestinal and renal systems are designed with an expectation that we will have lots of magnesium available and not much calcium so magnesium tends to be wasted easily and absorbed poorly. Current water supplies tend to be lower in magnesium content than natural river water might be. An Epsom magnesium sulfate salt bath or foot soak can be a better absorbed source as skin readily absorbs it. 20 minutes with about a cup of the magnesium sulfate salt is a medicinal dose, Staying in longer than 40 minutes might be dangerous due to slowing of the heart, and can cause watery bowel movements for up to a day or two if oversoaking as the magnesium causes relaxation of smooth muscle fibers which are what control the heart rate and the intestinal system. there are early symptoms of a fluttery weaker heart rate that is a signal to rinse off, you spent too long soaking.

Originally posted Feb. 20, 2011 – Regarding Vasculitis:

The first picture that I saw of someone diagnosed with vasculitis reminded me of hypothermia. The person’s fingertips were red and swollen but also shriveling at the tips. I learned about the body’s amazing ability to divert nutrients to the brain and heart during my training as a Water Safety Instructor. People survive drowning in extreme cold sometimes because the body stops circulating blood through the arms and legs. The person might lose fingertips and toes due to frost bite but if they survived an hour under water without brain damage, then it seems like a small price to pay.In the case of vasculitis, however, white blood cells are breaking down blood vessel tissue and destroying function of the area. It has been a mystery – why would the body attack itself and take apart structures?

I suggest that it is occurring for the same reason that anorexics die of heart attacks. In cases of malnutrition the body will catabolize – break down – body parts that are not essential in order to keep the brain alive. In the drowning victim, the brain, lungs and heart continue circulating blood while the extremities are left to freeze. The anorexic’s body needs calories to feed the brain and fat stores won’t work. Muscle tissue can be converted into energy that the brain can use. Over time, the heart and the rest of the muscles are eaten from within to feed the starving brain, leaving the weakened heart muscle at risk from any overwork.

Buerger’s Disease

The type of vasculitis most associated with fingertip loss is also most associated with smoking. And  the most effective treatment is to stop smoking. The vascular tissue would be oxygen starved in a chronic smoker as well as magnesium deficient.

Buerger’s Disease,
photo from: [vasculitis.med.jhu.edu/typesof/buergers.html]  John Hopkins Vasculitis Center
Central Nervous System Vasculitis

**This is a rare form of brain vasculitis but the description of symptoms and population at risk reminded me of my migraine days of maximal blood brain permeability and sensitivity to many foods and chemicals.

 
“Treatment and Course of CNS Vasculitis” 
PACNS: Until recently, CNS vasculitis was a fatal condition in a high percentage of cases, with death following diagnosis in a mean of 45 days after diagnosis. The availability of powerful immunosuppressive therapy, however, has significantly improved the prognosis for people with this condition. Some patients with PACNS respond well to treatment with high doses of steroids alone. Others require the addition of cyclophosphamide to the steroid regimen. In many cases, a reasonable approach is to attempt to control the disease with high doses of steroids first (e.g., for one month), adding cyclophosphamide only if steroids fail or if patients begin to develop unacceptable side–effects of steroid treatment.
 
Balancing control of the disease with the possibility of serious side–effects of treatment is often challenging. For PACNS, treatment must often be continued for a year or more.
 
BACNS: Patients who fit the typical patient profile of BACNS and who have clinical presentations compatible with that diagnosis may be candidates for less intensive treatment regimens than those used in clear–cut cases of PACNS. Patients believed to have BACNS may be treated with calcium–channel blockers (a class of drug used to treat high blood pressure and spasm of blood vessels that occurs in a variety of conditions) for a few weeks, along with a comparatively short course of steroids (prednisone). No firm guidelines exist regarding the length of therapy, however, and decisions about the length of treatment must be made on a case–by–case basis.
 
Cocaine use, malignant hypertension, preeclampsia, and intravascular lymphoma can mimic this disease. The best therapy has not been established: many patients are treated with prednisone and cyclophosphamide.”

from:
[vasculitis.med.jhu.edu/typesof/cns.html] – John Hopkins Vasculitis Center

** Calcium channel blockers are a pharmaceutical stand-in for magnesium. Deficiency of the building blocks and energy sources that the body needs for regeneration prevents the body from growing new tissue. When functioning correctly, new skin cells are grown every day. Hypertension and preeclampsia are conditions resulting from magnesium deficiency. Cocaine use is associated with minimal eating and weight loss (appetite for more cocaine instead of food). Cancer is also associated with malfunctioning white blood cell function – apoptosis is required to prune decaying cells before they mutate. Magnesium is essential to grow the white blood cells and to arm them with the enzyme and adhesion powers necessary for apoptosis.

When nutrients are missing the body will recycle nutrients from less important body parts. White blood cells, our work force, will break down and not repair tissues that aren’t supporting the brain, lungs and heart circulation. Tissue with rapid cell turn over will show the lack of repair earliest. The skin and blood vessels in areas of the body that are less physiologically important will show break down and inflammation earliest in the progression of disease. Leaky Gut Syndrome is a similar problem happening with disrepair of the intestinal lining. It leads to worsening malabsorption problems and further malnutrition.

Bypassing the poor intestinal absorption with delivery of nutrients by skin is a low budget, low risk solution worth trying. A magnesium containing skin cream may provide some of the nourishment that the skin cells need for repair. Excess active hormone D also causes increased intestinal calcium absorption and worse magnesium absorption. Some types of infection can cause an increase in active hormone D and cause an imbalance in calcium and magnesium. Consuming extra vitamin D will add to the imbalance in vitamin D vs hormone D levels that the chronic infection is triggering. the increased levels of hormone D cause movement of calcium and magnesium out of the bone tissue and lead to increased urinary magnesium losses. Magnesium deficiency prevents growth and repair of our skin and everything else.

Use of a magnesium containing skin cream may bypass the poor intestinal absorption and bring symptom relief sooner than just taking a supplement of magnesium.

Eating supplements or diets rich in lecithin from egg yolk and omega 3 fatty acids from fish oil, or flax or hemp oils rich in essential fats can help nourish the skin and promote healthy membranes in the brain and throughout the body. Self care and nourishment helps speed healing.  Calcium channel blockers and corticosteroids will not provide any building blocks for growth in the long run.

*I must not have been aware of Epsom salt baths at this stage of my learning more for better self-care – migraine headaches may have to do with vasculitis.

  • Disclaimer: Opinions are my own and the information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes.  

All are equal in Equal Opportunity Programs

“Some are more equal than others” in the book Animal Farm by George Orwell. (paraphrased)

“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”

In the 60’s and 70’s women’s liberation and sexual liberation were somewhat connected. Being a single unwed mother was rare and was disapproved of.  That has changed for the better, women and children are accepted no matter the marital history. However the poverty support programs as they are currently written promote unwed mothers by penalizing couples -giving less support or no support help to married couples or unwed couples where the father is named.

A support net that promotes single parenting and not naming a child’s father is discriminating against the child’s right to know their father and their medical and cultural heritage. Welfare programs in larger areas even inspect for evidence of an unnamed father figure and women can lose their benefits even if the large size jeans were their own. Supporting children is a goal that benefits society and stressful situations make parenting more difficult. Rewriting policies that are more open to two parent households whether it is mom and dad, or mom and mom, or dad and dad, would be a positive goal for the sake of raising healthy and secure children who have adequate caregiving available.

Raising children is a challenge with two parents and raising them with one parent may be less stressful and the wiser choice if one parent is unreliable or abusive, so flexibility in any welfare type support net program is the wisest choice for the children’s sake. And for the future’s sake raising secure well adjusted children is most likely to lead to more well adjusted  prosocial tax paying self sufficient adults. (link elsewhere on this site.: From a previous post: Regarding potential underlying reasons for a person to resort to mass violence – typically it isn’t due to “mentally ill” people unless they were already prone to violence. An increased risk for violence is not associated with depression, anxiety or ADHD. Increased risk for mass violence is significantly associated though with being a male who had experienced child trauma and who is a binge drinker.  (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4318286/ ))

Sexual liberation was openly discussed by some in the past, 60s/70s, but it wasn’t common for the average woman or household (some women were free/open to casual encounters but most others were not; and swinging/key parties were an experiment of the 70s). Now we have fifty percent (roughly) of children growing up in poverty and many of them living in poverty have single parent households. The inequality of women’s pay to men’s pay when broken down into more precise detail is actually more of a difference in mother’s pay to other’s pay. nytimes The salaries of women without children are more comparable to men’s wages.

So who is liberated now – father’s from their previous role as a head of household? Or are they liberated from being anywhere in the household? Maybe but liberated maybe not. Some are in prison as the number of prisoners has increased with the for-profit prison industry. Since 1974 the amount of prisoners has increased from a steady 100/100,000 to 500/100,000 by 2004. nap.edu

Is sexual liberation still around – or just single parenthood? It seems to be the latter, based on my experience it went away with the increase in sexually transmitted disease and the increase in AIDS/HIV that occurred in the 80s and 90s.

What about equality? Are some animals more equal than others? Yes, some do seem to have different rules than others regarding taxation and legal protection and even in television show games we have many that focus on voting who to keep and who to remove from the lineup of contenders. Some animals are more equal it seems, in our modern times.

In my world we are all equal and the animals count too. We need offshore microbes to modify the form of trace minerals found in ocean water into a form that is available in the atmosphere.

Some animals may think they are more equal than other animals but in the long run we may all be looking to microbes for help that they won’t be able to provide in an ocean that is more acidic and warmer. It is hard to predict who will be more equal than who in a greatly changed world, planning ahead now might make the transition go smoother. Stopping change is already too late, it is happening at the more severe rates that have been used in calculations of predicted events.

In the world I grew up as a child in the 70s we cared about climate and cleaning up air and water and women’s liberation included freedom to touch and be touched not just be seen in more exposed and expensive fashions. Fathers were part of the household, not just on visitation days. Was it perfect then? probably not, but is it perfect now? not really. Lack of jobs for many and lack of time for those who do have jobs is a problem in our modern society that isn’t going to change without the creation of new industries. Globalization has decreased poverty around the world but has led to fewer jobs in the U.S. that are as well paying in proportion to the type of pay that a father as head of household might have had in the 50s or 60s. It will require planned change in priorities to create a new job or basic income society. The advantage could be more stable parenting by two parent households.

Men, on average, are still expected to be a good earner in order to win a woman’s partnership as a spouse and parent. cnn.com/american-men-less-marriageable-partner Expectations may be involved in the suicide rate by males which is a problem of our modern society that was also a problem in the 50s and 60s. More men commit suicide than women on average (males ~18-21/100,000, females ~ 4-6/100,000) and both rates have been fairly consistent since the 1950s. statista.com  Social roles being demanding in different ways seems unlikely to explain that consistent of a difference, speculatively, testosterone levels are not directly associated with violence but in individuals whether male or female if prone to violence increased testosterone can increase tendency towards violence and suicide is a violent reaction against the self. (Sapolosky, Behave)

So are women liberated yet? are men? are children? Prisoners certainly aren’t. /https://mic.com/articles/86519/19-actual-statistics-about-america-s-prison-system#.RB8uGOHzW/ And are we sexually liberated yet? I read one study showed an average of less than two encounters per week for couples – we were supposed to be shocked that the use of medical marijuana was associated with a 20% increase in the rate, bumping up close to 1/week to closer to 2/week metro.co.uk/2017/10/27/weed-smokers-have-more-sex-apparently – I was shocked by both rates. It was not a large study, so maybe there’s more healthy fun going on in the world of consensual couples. Although for the busy pace of a full-time job and commute and helping with children’s homework or doing other household chores it can be difficult to find energy let alone time for extraneous activities no matter how fun. For me fun, solo, helps with better mental health and it can have pain killing benefits for a woman. Migraine relief was sometimes only a few minutes of concentration away if I had some privacy. Good and good for you.

Asexuality seems to be the new liberation. Zinc and omega 3 fatty acids and iodine and selenium may all be helpful for boosting that average for men or women. Food sources of iodine and selenium are available here: effectivecare.info/g9-iodine-&-thyroid

Some animals do seem to be more equal than others. George Orwell was right about that part.

The new site that I still need to work on is meant as ideas, not to be considered better or worse than anyone, the point of Equal Opportunity Programs is that all are treated equally, equal service offered in a variety of languages. The site has ideas, just ideas to consider and online translation services can give a rough translation, but currently the site is in English and written from the perspective of someone who worked in the U.S. in a field that was largely staffed by women, so my ideas may not convert well to a modern mixed gender working world, however the goal of Equal Opportunity Employment is that gender ratios in all of the businesses participating would be similar or not matter if they weren’t in similar ratios. Pay and benefits would be equivalent. Goals are a starting point to consider and work towards, ideas are a place to start.

Disclaimer: Opinions are my own and the information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes.